Lady Chargers have sectional bid swiped
Posted: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 12:00 pm
By KEVIN WEAKS
Westview took its best shot at the sectionals. Covington, however, stole it away.
Spurred by a steal in the backcourt from Precious Harvey, Covington weathered Westview’s comeback with a rally of its own to notch a 38-34 win in the semifinals of the Region 7AA Tournament Monday night at Dyersburg.
The loss ends Westview’s season at 20-11, while Covington earns both a regional championship spot on Wednesday night and a sectional game on Saturday. The Tipton Countians will play Obion Central, a 78-60 winner over Dyersburg in the other semifinal game, 7 p.m. Wednesday. The winner will host Region 8’s runner-up, while the loser will hit the road in Saturday’s round.
“What it boils down to is they just made a few more plays than we did,” Westview head coach Sean Stephenson said.
One sequence in particular decided the outcome.
Trailing 24-17 on Chari Swift’s putback with 4:53 to play in the third quarter. Westview went on a 13-2 run to take a 30-26 advantage by the 6:01 mark of the fourth period.
Kaley Leyhue scored six points, four as a result of offensive rebounds, and Tiffany Rechis knocked down a 3-pointer from the left wing to put the Weakley County version of the Chargers up by four points.
But, after Westview had fought so hard to finally go ahead, Covington quickly stole back the lead — this time for good.
Precious Dyson’s triple from the left wing at 4:45 put Covington back in front 31-30, and then Harvey’s stickback led to a stickback by Iesha Carruthers to highlight a 9-0 rally that had Covington ahead 35-30 with 1:02 to play.
“(Covington) switched the press and came to trap on the backside, and we turned it over,” Stephenson said of the steal. “They’re just quick, and in a game with as few possessions as that, turnovers and offensive rebounds are just that much more important.”
Covington hit six straight free throws before missing three in a row, but Demiah Eaton’s only point of the game made it a two-possession difference with 2.6 seconds remaining, sealing the win.
“Good teams are going to make a run,” Stephenson said. “We got down seven, and then came back and took a four-point lead, eventually. Then, it’s who’s going to handle the lead the best. Are we going to extend it, or do they fight back and get back in the game? They started to make some stops on defense to get back in it.
“There was about a two- or three-minute window there where, if we could’ve gotten some shots to go in, the end of the game could have been a little different.”
Both teams had shots go in early in the deliberately paced game, Covington grabbing a 12-10 lead at the end of the first period.
Dyson and Harvey each hit a trey, while Teddy Vincent scored eight of her team-best 10 points on three field goals and two free throws.
Kendall Leyhue tied the game twice for Westview, first on a backdoor cut and then on two free throws, but Covington held the ball the final 2:52 and hit a free throw for a 20-17 halftime advantage.
Four points from Iesha Carruthers, all via offensive rebounds, helped push Covington’s lead to 24-17 before Westview rallied to take its first lead since 2-0.
Harvey had 15 points and Carruthers added 10 to join Vincent as the only players in double figures.
The game drew the curtain on the prep careers of Bryelle White and Courtney Wiley.
“I’d like to thank Bryelle and Courtney for the four years they’ve put in,” Stephenson said. “They’ve worked hard for four years. Bryelle’s battled through a knee injury that took her a couple of years to get where she could get back this year, and Courtney’s just worked her rear off in practice every day and has been a really great teammate. We’re going to miss them, and we wish them the best as they move on.”
WV 51, Bolivar 49
Vincent had 17 points and Kaley Leyhue added 13 as the Lady Chargers survived four missed free throws by Bolivar in the final seconds in the quarterfinal game at Bolivar.
Westview trailed 40-38 going into the fourth but then held Bolivar to nine ponts in the final period, aided by four misses in five tries at the line with two seconds remaining in the game. Published in The WCP 2.28.12